The making of a textile by interlacing (weaving) warps and wefts at right angles on a hand loom. See the separate entries for carpet and rug weaving and tapestry weaving.


Status Currently viable
Craft category  Textiles
Historic area of significance  UK, especially the North West
Area currently practised  UK
Origin in the UK
Minimum no. of craftspeople required  1000+
Current no. of trainees  501-1000
Current no. of skilled craftspeople  101-200
Current total no. of craftspeople  501-1000



In the Middle Ages weaving was a major source of employment, especially for women – men became involved once it was commercialised.Settlers from the Low Countries introduced the weaving of fustians, cloth with a weft of cotton and warp of linen, into East Anglia in the sixteenth century, spreading to Lancashire by 1600.

Weaving was mechanised in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, although the high-power loom was not adopted until the 1830s and 1840s in the Lancashire cotton trade.The woollen and worsted industry in the West Riding of Yorkshire typically used smaller mills and shifted to weaving machines some decades later than the cotton weavers of Lancashire.

There is an increasing interest in hand woven textiles at the moment, both from practitioners and the general public.



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Other information